Due to an annual dry season, which usually lasts about 9 months, the semi-desert climate and the average temperature climbing by 3°C, Botswana suffers from a permanent water shortage. To satisfy the water demand of the public and the cattle, groundwater which cannot re-generate so quickly, has to be used to great effect. That is why Botswana urgently needs to extend its water supply network and most of all to improve its condition.
At a jobsite in Francistown about a year ago, static pipe bursting was the remedy. A total of 1,700 m of old pipes were replaced by new HDPE pipes with a larger diameter. In detail 150 mm diameter pipes made of PVC were expanded to 200 mm and 250 mm diameter respectively, as
well as Asbestos Cement (AC) pipes which were upsized from 400 mm to 450 mm diameter. Focus Engineering Solutions, which carried out the work, showed a great sense of pioneering, while at the same time demonstrating ways to repair the countries pipe networks at lower costs and also at a much quicker pace in future. It was the very first project in Botswana where trenchless technology was applied to renew service pipes.
To ensure the success of pipe renewal, TRACTO decided to send an expert to Botswana, who spent a whole week training the machine operators at the jobsite in order to get them acquainted with the GRUNDOBURST 800G which the company had supplied and basically train them ‘on the current job’. Apart from general method information, useful tips and tricks for daily routines were passed on, general maintenance work was explained, as well as training with regard to transport, set-up and disassembly of the bursting rig. Now the company and the operators are able to carry out upcoming jobsites themselves and furthermore can pass on their own knowledge about trenchless pipe replacement to construction companies and institutions in other regions of Botswana, which will allow maintenance of the network in a country with a desperate need for its water supply to improve as quickly as possible.
This was the first project of its kind in Botswana to utilise pipe the pipe bursting method. It has the potential to set new standards for pipeline construction and replacement in the country and the African continent!